This April marks the tenth annual National Safe Digging Month, a designation formally recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Subsite Electronics, a Charles Machine Works Company, and 1,700 members of the Common Ground Alliance promote National Safe Digging Month to remind everyone to call 811 before they dig to avoid the many hazards that lie underground.
Our land is made up of a complex underground infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables. In fact, there are more than 100 billion feet of underground utilities in the United States, according to data compiled by CGA from various industry groups. That figure equates to more than one football field’s length of buried utilities for every man, woman and child in the U.S. Striking an underground utility line while digging can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
That’s why we remind you to call 811 before every digging project, from simple landscaping like planting trees or shrubs, to building a deck or installing a rural mailbox. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged. Calling 811 before digging can greatly reduce the chances of striking a line.
As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said Jeri Lamerton, Marketing Manager for Subsite Electronics. “By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”